Director of Development

Job Posting Date(s): November 1, 2019

Status: Full time exempt. Position reports to General Director

Position Summary:

Opera Birmingham is committed to creating the finest professional opera productions, developing talent through competition and exposure to major artists, and promoting the operatic art form through community-wide education and outreach. In 2020, we seek to build our development capacity within the organization. The Director of Development will play a pivotal role in building the organizations capacity by providing leadership toward the achievement of a $1,000,000 revenue goal.

The Director of Development is responsible for planning, organizing, and managing major gifts; corporate and foundation giving; and planned giving. They will develop new fundraising strategies, focusing on drawing new audiences, and leverage opportunities to generate income. Working with Opera Birmingham’s General Director, board development committee, and finance team, the Director of Development will develop and execute an annual fundraising plan to maintain and grow charitable giving from the individuals and corporations to support the strategic direction of the organization.

Key Roles:

  • Major Gifts

    • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major donors

    • Work closely with General Director, develop individual strategies for major donors

    • Meet with current and prospective donors regularly to build strong, positive and long-lasting relationships

    • With the General Director, work with members of Board of Directors and Development Committee, to ensure their understanding of their roles, goals and participation in the development plan

  • Corporate and Foundation Gifts

    • With General Director, create solid value propositions to mutually benefit foundations and corporations and Opera Birmingham

    • Work with lead team members on events, directing the strategy and outreach for securing sponsorships

  • Fundraising Events

    • Support fundraising events with strategic planning

    • Raising adequate corporate support for all fundraising events

  • Planned Gifts

    • Develop a strategy to implement a new planned giving program

    • Identify prospects, cultivate and secure planned gifts

  • Grant Writing and Management

    • Assist General Director with research, writing, proposal development, submission and reporting requirements

    • Assist in seeking local, regional and national grant opportunities

  • General

    • Maintain Development Calendar with dates, prospects, gifts, asks and notes for individual donors, foundations, corporations

    • Staff the Development Committee, a group of board and community members

    • Perform other duties as assigned

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  1. Solid, working knowledge of successful fundraising techniques, particularly major gift fundraising and donor cultivation

  2. Ability to work with team members in successfully accomplishing the strategic goals set by the organization

  3. Proven ability to meet or exceed performance goals

  4. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, using a thorough knowledge of grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules

  5. Ability to provide concise, thorough and articulate reports and presentations to a variety of audiences in both oral and written form

  6. Proficient with Microsoft Office required; experience with fund development software (currently Network for Good); and a willingness to master new programs

  7. Friendly, timely customer service and follow-up

  8. Ability to prioritize responsibilities, delegate tasks and efficiently manage time independently to accomplish a variety of duties with limited oversight

  9. Skill in developing and maintaining positive working relationships with entire team to yield results that enhance mission delivery

  10. Ability to mentor and manage staff as assigned

  11. Ability to practice an appropriate level of confidentiality

  12. Ability to influence others to work cooperatively toward strategic priorities

  13. Requires the physical mobility to sit and walk for moderate periods of time and to occasionally carry or lift objects weighing up to 20 pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be provided as necessary.

Qualifications & Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing or similar relevant field of study, with substantial experience in fundraising evident

  2. Five-seven years of experience in positions involving similar job responsibilities required; Experience in non-profit, entrepreneurial or economic development preferred

  3. Excellent oral and written communication skills

  4. Ability to effectively manage people and projects and bring sound decision-making abilities to bear, in order to maximize results

  5. Strategic thinker, skilled problem solver, resourceful and business-minded

  6. Organized and productive, with an ability to plan and execute complex strategies, utilizing good attention to detail

  7. Proven time management and organizational skills

  8. Hard-working with a positive attitude and willingness to accomplish the task at hand

  9. Ability to manage simultaneous tasks or projects while maintaining a team spirit

  10. Ability to effectively work with a variety of people in a professional manner and project a favorable impression of the organization

  11. Proficiency in typical office procedures and routines, and with office equipment

  12. Flexibility to facilitate/participate in meetings and events outside of core business hours (i.e. nights, weekends, etc.)

  13. Valid driver’s license for traveling between local businesses, organizations and other locations as necessary.

To apply, please email your cover letter and resume with references to Keith A. Wolfe, General Director at

Opera Birmingham is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates for employment are considered without regard to race, age, creed, color, sex, national origin, marital status, HIV status, or sexual orientation.

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